big picture: The latest wave of AMD RDNA 2 cards have arrived. While they won’t surprise anyone, the company claims they outperform Nvidia’s Ampere offerings in terms of performance per watt and cost per frame. With current market conditions and RDNA 3 cards on the horizon, the arrival of the Radeon RX 6×50 XT series looks like a belated and desperate attempt to correct the sour taste left by the paper launches of the past two years.

- Advertisement -

After months of rumors, AMD today officially announced three new graphics cards of the Radeon RX 6000 series – RX 6650 XT, RX 6750 XT and the new flagship RDNA 2 – RX 6950 XT. But more importantly, Team Red appears to have adjusted the MSRP of the new models to reflect current market reality, rather than leaving enough room for a price shock once they hit store shelves.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

The new cards are also arriving at a time when AMD’s existing RDNA 2 offerings are finally selling at a low price. next to the manufacturer’s recommended retail price and sometimes even lower in the case of cheaper offers such as RX 6500 XT. The company even highlights price as an advantage over Nvidia’s Ampere cards, and right now there’s more reason to believe you’ll be able to find these models in stock and at recommended prices.

As expected, the RX 6×50 XT series cards do not differ much from the models they are based on. The only notable changes are higher clock speeds, higher total board power (TBP), and the use of faster 18Gbps GDDR6 memory. The supply chain says they also have firmware support for Samsung and Hynix memory, which is one reason to be optimistic about better availability.

The RX 6950 XT is now AMD’s most powerful card in the RDNA 2 line, and costs $100 more than the RX 6900 XT. For $1,099, the new card has a gaming frequency of 2100 MHz and can boost up to 2310 MHz if thermals and power allow. Power consumption has been increased from 300W to 335W on the reference model, and we expect some custom models with more powerful cooling solutions to push this limit even higher.

Interestingly, AMD sees the RX 6950 XT as more of a rival to Nvidia’s GeForce. RTX 3090 instead of RTX 3090 Ti. The company claims better cost per frame and performance per watt, but we’ll have to wait for Steve’s review to see if those claims hold true.

According to Team Red’s marketing charts, the RX 6950 XT will sit between the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti in terms of gaming performance, at least when all cards are installed in systems with Smart Access Memory enabled.

It should be noted that testing was carried out using Ryzen 7 5800X3D The CPU is on Windows 10 test machines, and all tested games support DirectX 12. However, AMD claims that its latest Adrenalin drivers can improve performance by up to 10% in DirectX 11 games using the new cards, so that’s it.

Moving on to the RX 6750 XT, we see pretty much the same story with a slightly higher TBP of 250W, which delivers a gaming clock of 2495MHz and boost clocks of up to 2600MHz. AMD’s suggested price is $549 and the company is positioning it as a competitor to the RTX 3070 (non-Ti), which has a slightly lower 220W output. Even at the higher price of the Team Green offerings, AMD didn’t dare compare it to anything other than the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti.

Perhaps the most important of the new cards is the RX 6650 XT, which is positioned as a direct competitor to the RTX 3060 (not Ti) for 1080p gaming. In addition, this is the only one of the three new cards that will replace the model it is based on. In other words, when the RX 6600 XT stock runs out, the RX 6650 XT will be the only card to sit between the RX 6600 and RX 6700 XT.

AMD has set an MSRP of $399 for the RX 6650 XT, which is $20 more than the RX 6600 XT. The company says this model will only be available from AIB partners, while the RX 6750 XT and RX 6950 XT will also be available from AMD’s online store. What’s more, AMD is preparing a new “Raise the Game” package offer for new cards.

It’s also worth noting that AMD has confirmed the list of games that will receive support for their FSR 2.0 scaling solution in the coming months. It includes Forspoken, EVE Online, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Perfect World Remake, Swordsman Remake, Unkown 9: Awakening, NiShuiHan, Grounded, Delysium and Asterigos. Deathloop will be the first game to receive FSR 2.0 support through an update later this week.

All in all, it looks like a mild but fair final push for 2nd generation AMD RDNA graphics cards, while the Ryzen 5800X3D marked a fitting end to the AM4 era. Pricing is where Radeon’s new offerings will shine the brightest, especially in the current GPU market. Be sure to stay tuned as we’ll be posting previews of the new maps this week.